French court looms for Galliano
JOHN Galliano is to appear before a Paris court on allegations of anti-Semitism, prosecutors said on Wednesday as the superstar designer apologised for a drunken tirade but denied the charges against him.
The case will be heard within months and, if found guilty, the couturier – who was sacked on Tuesday by the fashion house Dior – could face a sentence of six months in jail and a fine of $ A30,000.
‘‘ John Galliano will be prosecuted . . . before the criminal court for public insults towards an individual on grounds of their origin or religion . . . following complaints from three people,’’ the prosecutor’s office said.
The British designer was arrested last Thursday night in a drunken state after a couple in a cafe in Paris’ fashionable and historically Jewish Marais district alleged he had subjected them to a stream of anti-semitic abuse.
Since then another woman has come forward to say she suffered a similar attack in October last year and a video has surfaced of Galliano insulting someone else in the same bar and declaring ‘ ‘ I l ove Hitler.’’
On Wednesday he issued an apology for his behaviour, but insisted it was not anti-Semitic. He has lodged a counter - complaint against the couple from the incident on Thursday, alleging defamation.
‘‘ I completely deny the claims made against me and have fully co-operated with the police investigation,’’ said the flamboyant couturier, who is considered one of the finest fashion designers of his generation.
‘‘ Anti-Semitism and racism have no part in our society,’’ he said, in a statement issued by London lawyers Harbottle and Lewis.